Summer Cinema Pop-Ups

No one wants to be stuck inside a dark room while the sun shines outdoors. Enter the al fresco cinema, where picnics, beers, deckchairs and blankets unite for a one-off screening of a classic film, all in the great outdoors. This summer, there are more movies than ever to choose from, and we’ve rounded up our nine favourite spots…

Backyard Cinema

This year Backyard Cinema at Mercato Metropolitano has undergone a space-themed transformation. Named Mission to Mars, the event offers guests the chance to jump aboard its spacecraft cinema and lie back on beanbags with a selection of extra-terrestrial cocktails. Most films being shown throughout the season have a sci-fi edge – expect the likes of Armageddon, E.T., Men in Black and Ready Player One. Keep an eye out for its weekend Galactic Flow Yoga and Space Raves, in partnership with Ministry does Fitness, too.
42 Newington Causeway, Elephant & Castle, SE1 6DR

Rooftop Film Club

The Bussey Building, Queen of Hoxton and Roof East in Stratford all play host to one of our favourite film nights – Rooftop Film Club. Alongside a roster of fresh-from-the-cinema releases such as Black Panther, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and A Quiet Place, the club will also be showing classics like My Best Friend’s Wedding, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Mean Girls. Food and drink will be served an hour before the screening starts, and post-film until 11pm.
Locations in Peckham, Shoreditch and Stratford

Film4 Summer Screen

The grand Grade II-listed courtyard of Somerset House is the backdrop to Film4’s annual fortnight of film screenings, where cult classics and premieres alike will be shown under the stars. Call Me by Your Name, Labyrinth, Inception and Blue Velvet are the very first films to be announced, while ‘Behind the Screen’ – a series of talks, panel discussions, screenings and special events from industry talent – will be in place ahead of selected films.
Strand, Covent Garden, WC2R 1LA; 9th-22nd August

Roof East

Returning for a fourth year, Stratford’s Roof East has had a circus-style makeover. And this summer there really is something for everyone, from hip-hop bowling (De La Bowl) to vinyasa flow yoga, mini golf (Birdies) and baseball in a batting cage (Sluggers). If you can prise yourself away from the physical activities, then Rooftop Film Club will be hosting one of its screenings on the roof. Highlights over the summer include Mean Girls, Sleepless in Seattle, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Spice World.
Great Eastern Way, Stratford, E15 1BB

Pop Up Screens

With Pop Up Screens, the name says it all – the team bring all their gear to ten spots across the capital to show a variety of films. Between 10 Things I Hate About You, 500 Days of Summer, La La Land, Pretty Woman, Notting Hill and Thelma & Louise, there’s truly something for everyone. Various food vendors – and popcorn sellers, naturally – will be on hand to keep rumbling stomachs at bay.

Locations in City, Crouch End, Denmark Hill, Fulham, Greenwich, Hammersmith, Hither Green, Kingston, Maida Vale and Russell Square

Secret Cinema

Secret Cinema specialises in ‘live cinema’ experiences, combining film screenings with interactive performances in purpose-built sets. Since launching in 2007, they’ve brought everything from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back to Moulin Rouge, Back to the Future and Dirty Dancing to life. Currently, the team have recreated the world of Blade Runner for an immersive evening filled with fancy dress (which is mandatory), themed food and drink and, of course, the screening itself. Come August, the team will take over an unknown location for a Baz Lurhmanm-inspired Romeo + Juliet extravaganza. 

Secret location; Blade Runner will show until 8th July and Romeo & Juliet will show from 9th-19th August

Nomad Cinema

The best thing about Nomad Cinema? The group gives 100% of its profits to South African charity, The Sustainability Institute. As its name suggests, this particular cinema doesn’t have one base, but roams the capital, popping up at locations such as Brompton Cemetery, Hyde Park Lido, Leadenhall Market and St Paul’s Cathedral gardens. Screening highlights this summer include Some Like It Hot, Lady Bird, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Casablanca. Barefoot Wines, Lanson and Sipsmith will all be on hand to provide drinks, while a rotating mix of street food traders and goodie bags filled with popcorn and chocolate will keep everyone satiated.

Various locations across London

Luna Cinema

From June to October, Luna Cinema will be taking over some of the UK’s most prestigious venues for a collection of screenings – think Hatfield House, the Horniman Museum, Knebworth House and Kenworth House. Within these rolling grounds, Luna Cinema will be showing everything from Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone and Moulin Rouge through to Darkest Hour, Dunkirk and Shaun of the Dead. This year, the team has paired up with Pique to provide pre-packed picnic hampers, while premium tickets include a director’s chair, placed in a prime spot.

Various locations across London

Summer By The River

This summer-long festival, with a packed schedule of free outdoor events and entertainment, will be popping up at London Bridge on 1st June. Part of the festivities include an open-air cinema, which will be showing the likes of Swan Lake and La Bohème live from the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, alongside The Greatest Showman, La La Land, Grease, Moana and Guardians of the Galaxy.

1 Battle Bridge Lane, London Bridge, SE1 2HD

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